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Meet the Little People of Architectural Renderings

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The New York Times Magazine took a look yesterday at the unsung heroes of architectural renderings: “people textures,” “populating images,” and “scalies,” i.e. the little human creatures that wander around the sketches. Placing humans in renderings is a relatively new idea--most “scalies”—a term used by an architect because the figures are often used to give a sense of scale to buildings—are innocuous folk who dress reasonably and don’t steal thunder from the new high-rise or museum (see the attached image of yuppified “scalies” at the downtown Broad museum). Some student projects, the writer points out, have incorporated people urinating and copulating in the renderings (very emo), while an architect from Georgia says his firm has used renderings that include Anderson Cooper lounging in front of a shipping-container. There’s a cottage industry for “people textures”--Tom Marlin of Arlington, Texas says he uses real models to make his “populating images”--he’s also developing three-dimensional figures who “walk or gesticulate in repetitive loops.” Image via Diller Scofidio + Renfro
· Go Figure [NY Times Magazine]

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